Connectivity across the continent is indeed getting better, and African countries are making some of the biggest leaps in terms of mobile and Internet penetration. But growth is easier when you’re starting from a low base — of the 157 countries surveyed in ITU’s ICT Development Index, the worst-ranking 22 are all African.
But Ethiopia in particular is lagging behind. Ethio Telecom, the sole telecommunications provider in the country, is owned by the government, which has no plans to open up the sector to private competition. The country came in 40th out of the 46 African nations included in the ITU report and has an Internet penetration rate of less than 2 percent, despite being home to the continent’s second-largest population, the biggest economy in East and Central Africa, and a fast-developing capital city that hosts the African Union and a number of international summits.